Carrying out a painful defeat to Cádiz at home to finish their seven-game winning ability in La Liga, Barcelona return to action with a trip to the Basque Country for a crucial little league clash against Actual Real Sociedad at what will continually be Anoeta in our minds, regardless of what the beneficiaries say.
After spending two and a half months in dreamland Barça came back to Planet within the final two weeks, with four poor shows in a line, a shocking Europea League exit and a poor loss to one of the worst teams in the league on Monday. Injuries and a busy routine help clarify why Xavi Hernández great troops have dropped so quickly, great it is time to react.
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Since the discourse around Barça is always dark and white at its best, they went from the greatest team of all-time after successful El Clásico per month ago to the worst team of all-time after the loss to Cádiz, and Xavi proceeded to go from Better Compared to Pep to Even worse Than Koeman in less than a fortnight. As it is always the situation in all aspects of life, the answer lies someplace in the center for the team and the trainer.
Despite the bad results lately, the performances are still filled up with positives for a team that plays with a clear plan and structure coming from a very good coach who may be still learning the nuances of the position as he commences his managerial job. The squad is still imperfect and key players have been in and out over the last few months due to personal injury and suspensions, and too little of depth was always going to be a problem with such a brutal calendar in particular when you’re an Europa League side having to play Thursdays and Sundays.
That is absolutely normal to struggle, and the fact that this team is still controlling a unique fate to surface finish second in Are generally Liga after being ninth less than six months before is nothing less than remarkable. The balance for Xavi’s area remains to be overwhelmingly positive, and the season will easily be a success whenever they finish in a Champions League location.
And Barça will pretty much assurance their place in Europe’s top opposition next season if they win on Thursday night. As a result of Real Betis’ damage in midweek the Blaugrana could go six points free from fifth place with a win over Sociedad, and can further prolong that gap to Betis to seven points if they win Sunday’s game-in-hand against Rayo Vallecano at home.
Barça can take away all the pressure from the ultimate month of the season if they make contact with winning ways over the following two game titles. But it really won’t be easy, especially against La Real: Firma have been Are generally Liga’s most bothersome team to face this season as they don’t credit score or concede a lot of goals however have found a way to live in European opposition through sheer will, fighting spirit and defensive intensity.
That they are incredibly hard to beat at home, and Barça travelled a full ten years without winning at Anoeta between 06\ and 2016. Look at their famous 1-0 win in 2017 to finally break up the Anoeta Bane the Blaugrana have been dominant in Sociedad’s home, unbeaten in their previous five visits with four dominant is the winner in the process including last season’s spectacular 6-1 win that was easily the best performance of the Ronald Koeman Era.
Sociedad will be absent their two best players for this one as Donald Silva is out and about through suspension and Mikel Oyarzabal, who always generally seems to save his suitable for Barça, won’t come backside for a while after a challenging knee injury endured earlier this season. But La True still have the superb Alexander Isak at the start and a very solid back four and midfield that will not be easy to break up down.
Barça need to find their best football again, and a win over such a good side with a great performance will be exactly the sort of confidence improve they must get over the recent hard patch and complete the season strong.
Competition/Round: 2021-22 La Liga, Matchday 33
Barcelona Outs & Doubts: Pedri, Ansu Fati, Sergi Roberto, Samuel Umtiti (out)
Real Sociedad Outs & Doubts: David Silva, Mikel Oyarzabal, Nacho Monreal, Ander Barrenetxea, Carlos Fernández (out)
Date/Time: Thursday, April 21, 2022, 9.30pm CET (Barcelona), 8.30pm BST/WAT (UK & Nigeria), 3.30pm ET, 12.30pm PT (USA), 1am IST (India, Friday)
Venue: Reale Arena, San Sebastián, Basque Country, Spain
Referee: Carlos Del Cerro Grande
VAR: Juan Martínez Munuera
How to watch on TV: Not Available (USA), TSN 1 (Canada), Premier Sports 1 (UK), SuperSport (Nigeria), MTV (India), Movistar LaLiga (Spain)
How to watch online: ESPN+ (USA), LaLigaTV (UK),